It was like the sun was coming down from the sky in the most beautiful and non-threatening way possible.
For a second, for just one single second, Usopp forgot about the situation at hand. Forgot the Marines, forgot the pirates, forgot their need to escape quickly.
Just for that moment, all Usopp could see was a smile like a thousand suns as that man who they had all been waiting for for two years flew down on the back of a large bird as if he was some god or the natural world.
He could feel his own face split, unable to keep his joy from bubbling up and he jumped in the air, cheering with the rest of the crew as Zoro, Sanji, Chopper, and their captain, the future Pirate King, Monkey D. Luffy descended from the sky.
When they landed, Usopp's arms were around Luffy, holding him tight to his chest as Luffy gripped him back just as hard. They grinned into each other's necks, giddiness overflowing.
Everything was right in those few seconds.
The moment was short lived, however, as Sanji immediately succumbed to blood loss, fainting on the deck, and the Marines fired canons at them, their ship rocking violently when one landed too close for comfort.
Usopp let go of his captain, opting to grab his binoculars instead, and peering through them with a grimace.
"They're in firing range! Should we fire back?"
Before a reply to his question was met, a ship pulled between the Thousand Sunny and the Marines, the bombardment ceasing immediately.
Usopp looked through his binoculars again, trying to figure out who was interrupting the fight.
"That's the Kujas's mark," Robin commented, staring at the ship with curiosity painted across her face. "What could they be doing here?"
"Kuja?" Nami questioned, glancing from the richly decorated ship to Robin.
"Yes, a strong, all-female pirate group led by the 'Pirate Empress,'" Robin contemplated the ship, eyes bright with her usual thirst for knowledge. "One of the Shichibukai."
Nami perked up immediately, face lighting up as if she had stumbled across a treasure chest.
Usopp spotted what he assumed to be the Pirate Empress, a woman with long black hair and a low cut shirt that displayed all her shapely attributes.
"Shichibukai?" He murmured. "She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen!"
He pulled the binoculars away from his face, squinting at the ship to see if she radiated light or if it was just a fluke of looking at her too closely.
"She's absolutely glowing! A beauty that knows no bounds!" He shuffled uncomfortably, ignoring the frozen Sanji next to him. "Gorgeous or not - what's a Shichibukai doing here?"
"Oh! It's Hancock and the others!"
Usopp snapped to look at his captain, the man looking out at the ship in mild surprise.
"She winked! She winked this way just now!" Brook shouted, falling into a heap on the deck.
"We're saved!" Luffy laughed, a hand gripping his hat to his head. "Let's set off while we have a chance!"
"You know that Shichibukai?" Nami questioned, her amazement clear on her face.
"Yeah, I landed on the 'Isle of Women,' so they're all my friends!"
Usopp stopped, a question dying on his lips as he considered the statement further.
He blocked out Sanji, the man wailing as he shook Luffy with tears streaming down his face and instead looked back towards the Pirate Empress and her ship.
Suddenly, he didn't feel as overjoyed, that old inkling of self doubt wiggling into his mind like a long forgotten illness that was determined to take him out.
He frowned, brows creasing as the activity on their ship heightened while everyone got ready to sink beneath the sea.
He barely even noticed the bubble expanding, overtaking his body as it filled with air.
Usopp chewed slightly on his bottom lip, worrying at it as he watched the ships and island.
"Is something wrong, Usopp?" Chopper asked, staring up at him.
Usopp looked away, blinking at the reindeer.
"Ah, no, I was just...wondering why the Marines aren't chasing us…"
Usopp tried to ignore the bubbling green feelings boiling inside him as they prepared to leave, Nami explaining the physics of the bubble despite the information going right over the heads of half their crew.
"Are we ready to go, Nami!?" Luffy suddenly piped up, arms crossed as he fidgeted.
"Of course, Captain."
"Alright! There's a lot of stuff I want to tell everyone, but that can wait for now! Thank you for going along with my selfishness for the last two years!" Luffy's voice rang out, cutting through any bad feelings like a knife made of joy and Usopp could feel his face spread into another smile.
"You think your selfishness just started then..?" Sanji snorted, a cigarette hanging from his mouth as he tried to pretend he wasn't dying from blood loss.
"Damn straight! That's how you've always been!" Usopp caught Luffy's eyes and suddenly everything seemed like it was going to be okay. He couldn't keep his grin from widening and it only stretched more when Luffy returned the smile, his teeth flashing in that characteristic wide mouth of his.
Yeah, everything would be just fine.
It took a long time before Usopp could get Luffy alone.
A long time in which Usopp had questions bubbling in his mind, interrupted frequently by some mischief the captain insisted on getting himself into and random opponents that had no right being so far under the ocean's surface.
But he did get him alone, did have him pressed up against the ships walls with his arms wrapped around him as he held the man as close as possible.
"I missed you," Usopp started, voice quiet and gruff. He was a little surprised to hear the hitch in his own voice and the wetness of his words, but he continued on. "I saw the papers, I wasn't even there to comfort you."
Luffy pulled him closer, running his rubbery hands through the sniper's kinky curls and pressing Usopp's face into his neck.
"I didn't need comfort." The captain spoke slowly. Usopp could hear the fondness in his voice with just the slightest hint of a razor edge sharpened with a long past anger. "I needed to be stronger."
The black man flinched, tightening his arms.
"Your brother died." When he spoke, Usopp could feel his lips brush against his captain's neck as he let the words come out slowly and softly. He pressed closer, seeking to eliminate any space between them, letting his body contort to get as much contact as possible. "You needed comfort, Luffy. You needed someone to let you cry and heal—"
"I did cry." Luffy interrupted. "I did heal. I just needed to get stronger so that I never have to lose someone I love again."
Usopp pulled away gently, looking into Luffy's face. He felt his brows crease and took the other man's jaw in his hands.
He opened his mouth, words forming on his tongue. Words that Luffy wouldn't like. Words about how he couldn't stop all of their deaths, words about how they would all die at some point, words about how he couldn't beat himself up every time or not let himself heal after each disaster because it would tear him apart.
But he held the words back.
His captain's eyes were hard and determined. Words meant nothing to him, he would change the laws of nature if he had to.
So Usopp kissed him instead.
Let the slow slide of his lips against Luffy's do the talking for him.
When he pulled away, the harshness was gone. Replaced by the bright smile and eternal cheerfulness that fell off of Luffy in waves and forced a smile on his own face without his permission. Usopp's chest filled with that affection, that warm, sluggish liquid that tightened his chest in a pleasantly painful way.
"I'm glad we're all back together." He whispered, pressing his forehead against Luffy's. "These last two years were torture."
Usopp paused, trailing off, his thoughts going back to their escape, to the ship with that beautiful woman.
"You, uh, stayed on the Isle of Women? With that Kuja lady?" He started, stopping to lick his lips in nervousness. He didn't know where he was going with the thought or why he even brought it up.
"For a little bit, yeah, right after I was sent away and before the whole...Ace thing happened. Then I trained on another island, Rusukaina, for the two years." Luffy looked up into the darker man's eyes. Tilting his head curiously, that look on his face that promised he would get anything he wanted and no one else had a say in the matter. "Why?"
"Ah, I was just, you know, I just thought that, well, she is…" Usopp paused, shuffling uncomfortably, realizing that they had at some point switched positions and his back was pressed against the wall. Despite being taller than Luffy, he felt so small next to the other man.
"She is what?" Luffy was close and Usopp could feel his breath on his lips.
"Beautiful?" It wasn't really a question, but it came out as one.
"Yes, Hammock is beautiful."
Luffy ignored him and instead pursed his lips, his brow creasing as he tried to concentrate on something.
Usopp watched him with bated breath, wondering what he could be thinking so hard about. Luffy's hands were gripping his waist, fingers digging into his side, the pressure not completely uncomfortable.
The black man was starting to regret his choice in clothing, just slightly, because he could feel his captain's hot puffs of breath fanning out over his bare chest, making him fidget in the other man's grasp.
Suddenly, Luffy's face broke out into another grin.
"You're beautiful too, Usopp."
Usopp's knees immediately buckled under him, the only thing stopping him from crashing into the floor being Luffy's strong hands.
"UM—" Usopp gripped his captain's shoulders, mouth hanging open as he tried to find words to voice something, anything. "THAT'S—"
"I think Usopp looks even more amazing! You must have been working really hard these last two years - look at you!"
Usopp tried to escape from Luffy's gaze, his face and ears hot enough that he felt lightheaded, but Luffy wouldn't let him out of his grip, hands gentle but firm. Not tight enough to completely restrict Usopp, but enough to make sure he couldn't leave unless he really meant it.
Usopp opted to cover his face with his hands as Luffy laughed, peppering the back of his hands and arms with kisses as Usopp moaned in embarrassment.
In the end, Usopp ended up on his knees, Luffy following him down and wrapping his rubbery arms around the darker man, leaning his cheek against the top of the sniper's head as Usopp tried to curl himself into nothingness.
"Usopp's always been pretty, you know?" The sniper paused in his bemoaning to listen, but didn't unfurl. "You've always been handsome, Usopp, but you've gotten even prettier since the last time I saw you."
Usopp made something that might have sounded like a whimper before bringing his head up to look at Luffy with suspiciously watery eyes.
"Thanks," He sniffled pitifully before sitting up, leaning against the wall and letting Luffy crawl into his lap. "I love you lots. You're pretty good looking too; almost as much as the Great Usopp!"
The captain snickered, leaning in to kiss Usopp, his lips coming down in the same messy and chaotic fashion he always kissed in. His kisses were always a little too hard and a lot too wet, the man insisting on slobbering against his partner.
Usopp laughed into the kiss, missing his captain's gross kissing and enthusiasm. The laugh caught in his throat when Luffy moved his lips from Usopp's own to Usopp's jaw than to his neck.
Luffy noticed the pause and stopped, looking up at the other man with eyes that weren't exactly questioning, but rather searching for something.
Usopp swallowed, his throat suddenly tight and the pit of his stomach lighting on fire without his permission. He reached out to grab his captain's jaw with both hands, pulling his closer and kissing him with the slow fever he always did when he wanted something more. A brush of his open lips, tongue skimming against the other's surface until Luffy opened his own, letting Usopp delve inside his mouth as he gripped Usopp's upper arms.
He moved his hands down from Luffy's jaw, down his neck and down his chest and down his sides, bringing them around to the tan man's back and pulling him closer.
He paused when they rubbed up against each other, feeling a smile forming against his lips and making it hard to continue kissing.
Luffy pulled away with a laugh, throwing his head back and catching his hat before it fell off.
"Usopp is excited?"
The sniper blushed darkly but nodded, the other's smile widening as he leaned forward again to grip Usopp's face, thumbs rubbing along his cheeks.
"Are you having fun?" He finally murmured to his captain, hands rubbing circles into Luffy's hips.
"Yeah, kissing is always fun!"
Usopp pecked him in the lips, unable to not find his captain unbelievably adorable.
"Want to go all the way?"
"Sex?" Luffy purses his lips, drawing out a long hum as he thought it over. "Not right now; don't feel like it."
Usopp nodded, kissing the side of Luffy's mouth and cheek.
"Want to stop?"
Luffy didn't pause for as long, laughing loudly again and shaking his head, gripping Usopp's face and smacking their lips together.
"I'm always up to making Usopp feel good!"
As if to prove his point, he grinded down on the other man. Usopp yelped as his grip tightened on Luffy's hips, inciting the captain to snicker at him.
He was still laughing when he pressed his lips against the sniper's, slowly sliding their mouths together while one of his hands trailed down Usopp's chest.
Luffy pulled back, index fingers hooked on Usopp's suspenders, sliding the digits down the fabric as he looked over the other man.
Self conscious, Usopp shifted, aware of how his face probably looked, the slick feel of saliva and the heat from his blush suddenly feeling too heavy and he had trouble looking at the man in his lap.
"Hm, definitely more built." The comment was followed by the quiet snap of the suspenders. The captain tugged on the band of Usopp's high-waisted pants. "Can I take it off?"
Usopp, too embarrassed to say anything, nodded, feeling his breath quicken as the suspenders were pulled off his arms. He raised up on his hands so the pants could be slipped down his legs, the rubber man pausing to toss Usopp's boots haphazardly behind him, giving as much care to his pants when he finally got them off.
The black man sat against the wall with a fierce, dark blush, fidgeting as Luffy sat on his haunches, observing the naked man in front of him.
"What does Usopp want me to do?" He finally asked, the moment slightly ruined when he stuck a pinky up his nose.
The embarrassment lessened, a fond (if slightly disgusted) smile spreading on Usopp's face.
"Whatever you want, Luffy."
The Straw Hat captain contemplated for a second before removing his finger from his nostril and beaming at the other man.
Usopp snorted but nodded, shifting to get more comfortable.
Luffy was quick to pounce on him, lips falling first to his neck, then down his chest, a wet trail following behind his movements. When he found his hips, he pressed incessant kisses to the sniper's pelvis, teeth catching on the sensitive skin.
He slid his open mouth down, stopping at an inner thigh and mouthing at the skin, Usopp's breath catching. The sniper raised a hand to run through Luffy's hair, the man pressing his head further into Usopp's palm without detaching his mouth.
When he pulled away, he smiled up at Usopp with a grin that could blind lesser men but only made Usopp tear up a little.
"Yeah," Usopp replied, repositioning his legs.
When the tan man finally engulfed Usopp, the hot wet cavern of his mouth still as heavenly as ever, the black man's breath stuttered, trailing off into a hum as he body went tightened with pleasure, shifting between tauntness and relaxed muscles.
Luffy gave oral in the same way he kissed: all messy wetness and chaotic tongue movements.
Unlike with kissing, however, the style was perfect when pressed against Usopp's dick. Luffy went down easily and seemed to have no trouble going all the way to the base and just staying there - a true natural in the art.
The saliva nearly covered his entire lower region, even his balls slick with it, and Luffy wasted no time in incorporating his hands in the actions, palms pressing against the darker man's sack and rubbing against the sensitive base of his dick.
Usopp couldn't control his voice, though he tried, pressing his hands against his mouth in an attempt to stifle the sounds, but ultimately failing as his harsh panting and groans filtered past his lips.
When a thumb trailed lower, the slide of the digit against the sensitive area enough to make him groan, he looked down to see bright eyes watching him. His captain searched his face, mouth firmly wrapped around Usopp's cock as the wet sounds on him sucking him off filled the room, and it took the sniper awhile to realize there was a question there, waiting for him to respond.
Unable to speak, Usopp nodded quickly, wanting nothing more than for Luffy to take it a step further.
Mirth filled the captain's eyes, his lips somehow stretching around Usopp's dick in a smile as he lowered his finger further down, pressing it lightly against the sniper's hole.
Usopp gritted his teeth against the feeling. Not because it hurt, but because it felt that good. The pressure enough to kick his arousal up a notch higher, bringing him closer to orgasm. When it pushed further in, the slight stretch practically unnoticeable, and rubbed against his insides, Usopp shuddered, bringing his legs together and encasing Luffy's head with his thighs. The Straw Hat captain tugged at the sides, pulling at the ring of muscle and stretching Usopp further.
Luffy was quick to remove his thumb, coming back with two fingers, slick with spit and pre and pushing them in, giving that slightest of burn that made Usopp's thighs quiver.
His captain pushed him further to the edge, grinding the two fingers against his walls and fucking him against the wall. Usopp's spine bent as he gripped Luffy's hair in his fists, teeth grinding as he tried to stop any sound from coming out but being unable to stop the throaty groans from escaping.
When he came, all attempt to stifle himself went out the window and he yelled out Luffy's name, nearly sobbing as he jerked through his release.
Luffy didn't stop finger fucking him until he finally went limp, body collapsing against the wall in exhaustion. Usopp's body continued to tremble afterwards, giving a particularly hard jerk when Luffy popped off his dick.
The captain sat up, licking his lips as he studied Usopp's face, the sniper seeing the thick fluids sticky in the other's mouth before it was swallowed down.
Usopp laughed in reply, head lolling back as he sat bonelessly, Luffy settled between his spread thighs.
"Yeah, really good, Luffy."
Luffy's returning smile had Usopp reaching forward and bringing his captain closer, pressing a kiss to the side of the man's mouth.
"I'm glad we're all back together." He began, pressing his forehead against Luffy's. "It was a hellish two years being away from the rest of the crew, away from you. I just...I understand not wanting us to ever break apart again. None of us want that."
Luffy hummed in reply, eyes wide but oddly serious.
They sat in silence for awhile, basking in each other's company, breathing in each other's air.
"Are you sure you don't want me to help you out?"
Luffy tilted his head in confusion before seeming to get the darker man's meaning, a smile appearing on his face and seeming to light up the entire room.
"Naw, not right now. Maybe later."
Usopp nodded, dragging Luffy into his arms and relocating them so they laid on the floor, chests pressed against each other.
He thought of the Kuja lady. Of her overwhelming beautifulness and her closeness with his captain.
It was hard to worry about her, though, with Luffy snuggled against him, tracing light designs on his back as he drifted off into a doze.
Usopp tightened his hold on the smaller man, burying his face into his captain's hair and breathing in the scent he had missed for the past two years.
Luffy smelled warm.
Usopp smiled, happy to be back where he belonged, with the sun in his arms.